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Publisher's Summary

A dog's life in the south of France. From puppyhood, Sirius the Pyrenean Mountain Dog has been trying to understand his humans and train them with kindness. How this led to their divorce he has no idea.

More misunderstandings take Sirius to Death Row in an animal shelter, as a so-called dangerous dog learning survival tricks from the other inmates. During the twilight barking, he is shocked to hear his brother's voice but the bitter-sweet reunion is short-lived. Doggedly, Sirius keeps the faith.

One day, his human will come.

©2011 Jean Gill (P)2018 Jean Gill

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Wonderful story of a Great Pyrenees

As told by a Great Pyrenees named Sirius, the story of his life from his birth, through several owners and shelters, until he finds that one special person he can look up to. Sad at times, but a heartwarming story nevertheless.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Once I started listening I couldn't stop!

I read and enjoyed the paperback version of Someone to Look Up To a few years ago. I had the perfect opportunity recently to listen to the newly released audiobook version while travelling from Paris back to Sydney.

The narrator really brings the characters to life, and I found myself engrossed in the story again very quickly. Ian Walker’s voice works wonderfully as the voice of 70kg Pyrenean mountain dog Sirius. He also does a great job of the other characters; I was particularly fond of Jack, with his Liverpool accent!

The author really gets inside the head of the dogs whilst telling the story from Sirius’s viewpoint. I am reminded whilst listening to the book of the author’s background in working with a renowned French dog trainer, and how easy it is for us to accidentally introduce and reinforce ‘bad’ behaviours whilst training a dog.

Highly recommended.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Wonderful Journey! Changed how I relate to dogs

Wow. I was transported by this story, written so convincingly in the first person by Jean Gill, and voiced with such presence and compassion by Ian Walker, that I completely forgot it's fiction. It feels like a harrowing and tender memoir. A true window into the way another fellow being experiences life. I was deeply moved, and feel I understand dogs exponentially better than ever before. I've never considered myself a dog person, but I feel so much love and compassion for them now, that I'll always seek to understand them better. Ian's wonderful different accents and voices for the diverse dogs really added levity and love to a particularly heartbreaking sequence. I can tell he thoroughly knew the material, which is rare in an audiobook and takes time and care. I'm telling everyone about this audiobook. I sincerely love it. Well done, Jean and Ian! "Good hunting!"

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Happiness Is a Warm Puppy!

Most of this is simply delightful fun, seeing the world through the eyes of a dog, but fair warning: there are some three-hanky moments! The [AUDIO] narrator's soft burr quietly insists on extra attention as he voices Sirius, whose story this is, and then brings to life the puppies, humans, and others who populate the tale. My first thought when hearing the early chapters was simply, "How true!" and I wanted to send copies to any number of humans whose interactions with their pets mirror Mark's. Wisdom, and the desire to keep friendships, stilled my hand and I will instead simply recommend they read or listen for the joy of it; I leave it to them to recognize themselves. Note: I entered a raffle and won my copy but am now hard-wired to review what I read, at least to share what I've loved, as a personal thank you to the creative genius of the author whose words have given me such pleasure. Be sure to do the same!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Very glad to have listened to this one.

This very much reminded me of listening to an Alexander McCall Smith audio book. I thought Ian walker gave Sirius's honesty voice. The author gave me a chance to look at the world through a fresh pair of eyes. The full range off emotions are covered. I thought the book/narrator matchup was excellent. I'll listen to this one many times.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Inspiring, but Dog Whisperer??

I've come to love Sirius almost as much as I love my own dog Denali. Jean Gill's narrator is a Great Pyrenees Mountain Dog named Sirius. We learn his life story - the good smells and the harmful hits. Along the way Sirius also informs us of the precarious techniques of show breeding, and how not all dog training methods are created equal.

Ian M Walker has a lovely, rich and slightly gruff voice. It is easy to believe that Sirius' human voice sounds this way. Unfortunately, understanding dogs is difficult for humans. I believe this is why the author chose a dog to narrate this story. Sadly also, Ian Walker's elecution is lacking. Some passages are as if he is trying to be a dog whisperer.

On the bright side, I also chose to read the text which provides many of Gill's keen insights into the dog/human relationship. My true hope is that by reading this book I am worthy of being Someone to Look Up To for Denali.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Ulla
  • 03-25-18

A Wonderful Book about a Wonderful Dog

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Absolutely and I will be doing so immediately.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Serious of course. He had such an engaging personality and he made me feel so many emotions. I loved him!

What does Ian M. Walker bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Ian M Walker brought Serious and all the dogs and other animals in the book to life. I don't think I would have felt as much of this if I had read the book instead of listening to it. He became the voice of Serious for me and he made Serious and the others feel so real.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I had huge emotional reactions to this book. It made me smile, it mostly made me cry, it made me angry, it made me sad and it made me happy. All sorts of emotions abounded.

Any additional comments?

I absolutely loved listening to the audible version of this extremely heart wrenching book. I felt like I really got to know Serious, the Pyrenees Mountain dog, the hero of this story. It begins with his birth, continues with his puppyhood and on through the first 4 years of his life. It is told through Serious' eyes and you get to know him by listening to his thoughts right through the story.

For me a book that is worth its salt is one where I really care about the characters and that triggers my emotions. This book really did this for me.

As a huge dog lover myself I fell for Serious in a very big way from the start and only wish I could have adopted him myself! This book made me love him, it made me smile at his early antics when he was chosen by his first human, it made me cry (copiously) and made me angry and happy and sad and other myriads of emotions. It gave such an insight into how dogs think and what us humans should not do when it comes to training dogs.

For me dogs are such beautiful, loyal and wonderful creatures that bring us humans such pleasure and love. Serious' story broke my heart so many times but I'm so glad to have had the opportunity to listen to it and get to know him. The book has left me wishing for a sequel.

The narrator of this story, Ian M Walker, did a super job as the voice of Serious. He had the right tone and he told the story extremely well. He was an excellent choice of narrator and is definitely the right voice for serious.

I would definitely recommend the audible version of this book as listening to it really brought Serious and all his other animal friends to life for me. I loved it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • niamh bonner
  • 03-23-18

loved this book

For anyone who has ever had a dog or wondered about having a dog this book is a must. The tale of misadventure for this fella is both tearjerking and heart warning. The narration is perfect too with the voice lending depth and gravitas to Sirius the wonder dog

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Melanie Preston Lewis
  • 03-20-18

Buy numerous boxes of tissues!

Ms Gill - what have you done to me? I am at risk of serious dehydration from the copious amount of crying that accompanied listening to this book. I started leaking at about 90 minutes in, and then never really stopped! You'd have to possess a heart of stone not to be moved by this tale of Sirius, the wonder dog. I've met about some really depraved and evil villains in my reading history, but even the worst decapitating, eye lid removing, hog tying, alive burning, limb removing murderers were more appealing than some of the dog owners in Sirius' story. I felt traumatised listening to his, and his fellow captives' experiences as they recounted their biographies from their own perspectives. Of course I kept my hands over my own dogs' ears through much of this book. I also subjected them to much weeping into their fur and endless kisses and cuddles whilst whispering "I'm sorry" over and over again. Unfortunately for the humans in my family, I was listening whilst cooking tonight's supper. That meal in now in the dogs and we'll be having cornflakes. Ian Walker's narration is excellent. His deep, gravelly voice gave no hindrance in believing I was actually listening to a 70kg Pyrenean mountain dog; surely a performance worth adding to his CV! All that crying has released a lot of tension and, in addition, I feel thoroughly cleansed. Better still, I feel extremely virtuous for adopting 3 rescue dogs, (2 had been removed from abusive owners and 1 is an ex-puppy farm breeding bitch). Of course, all I did was adopt them, they were the ones doing the rescuing. Someone to Look Up To is an extremely well thought out and insightful book and should be compulsory listening to anyone who is planning on buying, or better still, adopting a dog. But you don't have to be a dog owner to get pleasure from Ms Gill's captivating work. If you are a human being with the capacity to love in your heart, treat yourself to a copy of the combined genius of Jean Gill and Ian Walker. You can thank me later!








2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Miss Sissons
  • 04-10-18

Thought provokingly lovely!

Well I’ve just finished listening to this book and I loved it.
I’ve had large dogs all my adult life and this has certainly given me a new perspective on how I think about them and how they think about me and their world as they see it.
Although heartbreaking at times, it was quite beautiful listening to stories of life, the world, dog pounds and humans as seen and told from a dogs point of view.
The narrators voice was spot on and made you fall in love with Sirius...the Pyrenean Mountain dog and teller of this enchanting tale...from the start. His story and that of his siblings sends you on a journey of highs and lows, smiles and tears...but worth it.
Not something I thought I ever imagined myself saying, but this story really makes you think!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • caryn
  • 06-16-18

Someone to look up to.

I have just finished Someone to look up to:

The book is a story of a dogs life told from the dogs perspective,

The author really 'gets' dogs, how they think and feel and how they make sense of the world they live in.

It is beautifully narrated by a man who has the perfect voice for a story like this. Calming throughout but animated when needed it is a pleasure to listen to and kept my attention throughout.

This story made me laugh and made me cry and certainly made me go and hug my own dog a few times.

If you are a dog lover you need to listen to this book, you will fall in love with the characters - hope for them, get sad for them and celebrate their good times.
Loved it *****.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Pauline Giles love bug dog cat dog
  • 08-01-18

Good dog

He had dog he tried to best. Live at either end from a chane to garden

0 of 1 people found this review helpful